Total Talent Management

Vaccination mandate hiring manager guidance

This page was updated January 20, 2022

Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 21-14.2 requires all employees of Washington higher education institutions to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment unless a medical or religious exemption is approved.

Being fully vaccinated means that an individual is at least two weeks past their final dose of an authorized COVID-19 vaccine regimen. Final candidates must be fully vaccinated as of their first day of employment.

All UWHIRES job postings have been updated with the following paragraph to alert applicants of vaccination as a condition of employment:

Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 21-14.2 requires employees of higher education and healthcare institutions to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless a medical or religious exemption is approved. Being fully vaccinated means that an individual is at least two weeks past their final dose of an authorized COVID-19 vaccine regimen. As a condition of employment, newly hired employees will be required to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination. View the Final candidate guide to COVID-19 vaccination requirement webpage for information about the medical or religious exemption process for final candidates.

This statement is also included on hr.uw.edu/jobs and in the “Thank you for applying email” that candidates automatically receive from UWHIRES.

While the job posting, website, and institutional policy provide information about the requirement, we encourage hiring managers to communicate the requirement to candidates. If the requirement cannot be met, the hire cannot occur:

Candidate currently vaccinated Intent to get vaccinated Intent to request exemption Hiring Manager steps to take
Yes, finalist states they are fully vaccinated. N/A N/A Proceed with hire
No No No Cannot hire
No Yes, finalist states they will get vaccinated/are in the process of getting vaccinated. No Delay start date until candidate is two weeks past final dose or withdraw job offer
No No Yes, finalist intends to request. Notify your recruiter and send the final candidate to the Final candidate guide to COVID-19 vaccination requirement webpage. Delay start date until exemption is approved.

New hire confirmation letters must now include the following statement. Hire confirmation templates have already been updated:

Under Washington State Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 21-14.2, UW employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 or obtain an approved medical or religious exemption. An offer is contingent upon proof that the candidate is fully vaccinated or qualifies for an exemption.

Exemption requests

Hiring managers should discuss the requirement and exemption options with a final candidate at time of offer when they are outlining other conditions of employment such as completion of a criminal history background check and sexual misconduct verification. Any final candidate requesting a medical or religious exemption must complete the applicable exemption process. A determination must be made prior to the anticipated start date.

For prospective student employees on campus, hiring managers initiate the exemption request process by completing the COVID-19 Vaccination Accommodation Request Process.

Vaccination mandate FAQs for hiring managers

Can UW ask job applicants about their vaccination status?
While asking job applicants if they have been vaccinated is not a disability-related inquiry under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), the University recommends that hiring managers only communicate the requirement and not inquire about vaccination status.

Can UW refuse to hire if they learn that the candidate has no intention of complying with the working condition to be fully vaccinated?
Yes. If a candidate has no intention of being fully vaccinated, they are not qualified for the position, provided there is no medical or religious accommodation.

Does the UW need to obtain proof of vaccination before hiring an employee ?
Proof of vaccine will be validated on the first day of employment. For more information visit the COVID-19 vaccination now a condition of employment webpage.

Can departments add information to job postings to let candidates know that an accommodation will not be provided based on the nature of the position’s job duties?
No, departments cannot add statements to job positions about exemptions and accommodations. If a final candidate requests a medical or religious exemption, the request must be evaluated. All job postings include the same, general information to let candidates know about the vaccination mandate and their options for requesting an exemption.

How do we communicate with temp agencies regarding the requirement? Who is responsible for obtaining the information about vaccination completion for the vendor?
Under the proclamation, the contractor must provide a signed declaration confirming their compliance for contractors working on-site at the University.

What should be recorded in UWHIRES if a candidate withdraws from a recruitment or declines an offer due to the vaccination requirement?
Use the disposition reason codes for “Candidate Withdrew – Vaccine requirement” and “Offer Declined — Vaccine requirement,” as appropriate.